Taiwan stages LGBT pride parade 'for the world'

Elias Hubbard
June 30, 2020

With its coronavirus outbreak defeated, Taiwan hosted one of the few pride marches around the world on Sunday as the island's LGTBQ community and their supporters took to the streets.

Around 1,200 people marched through downtown Taipei, dressed in the colors of the LGBT rainbow flag.

"Knowing that over 475 pride events around the world have been cancelled broke my heart", event organiser Darien Chen told AFP.

In recent years Taiwan has forged itself a reputation for progressive politics in a region of the world where LGTBQ people still face entrenched prejudice and legal barriers. "Of course we won't give in, and we must continue with this flame of hope and stand up for the world, to hold the only parade in the world in this Pride month".

As the majority of countries were unable to hold pride marches, many participants declared themselves as representatives of those unable to march around the world due to restrictions on large gatherings.

"Since the rest of the world can not march or even go out, we have the opportunity to march for the rest of the world", he told AFP news agency.

The island normally holds its pride parade in October but brought this year's event forward to replace the hundreds of cancelled marches around the world. The pandemic is under control in Taiwan.

The island has had just over 440 infections and seven deaths, with more than two months of no local transmissions.

But since his death in 1975, the self-ruled island has since become a symbol of liberal democracy in Asia, becoming the first in the region to legalize same-sex marriage previous year.

NY was among the cities compelled to cancel its gay pride parade this year to comply with social distancing measures. The referendum was advisory, as Taiwan is a republic and laws are made through its legislature, not the popular vote.

Hundreds of people thronged a central square in Taiwan's capital Taipei for a Pride event on Sunday, unfurling a giant rainbow flag in front of the main memorial hall for late autocratic leader Chiang Kai-shek before being ushered away by police.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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